1048 GMT May 28, 2022
During the first India-Central Asia Summit held virtually on Thursday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the leaders agreed that initiatives on connectivity should be based on the principles of transparency, respect for sovereignty, and territorial integrity of all nations, the Press Trust of India reported.
The leaders who attended the summit hailed India’s proposal of establishing a joint working group in Chabahar to address the issues with free movement of goods and services among India and Central Asian countries.
Apart from supporting India’s proposal to use Chabahar port to facilitate trade, the participating leaders also noted Turkmenistan’s proposal to include Turkmenbashi port within the framework of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
According to the Delhi Declaration published by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of the first India-Central Asia Summit, “The Indian side welcomed the interest of Central Asian countries in utilising the services of Shahid Beheshti Terminal at Chabahar Port for facilitating their trade with India and other external markets.”
The sides agreed to continue engagement for further developing the transit and transport potential of their countries, improving the logistics network of the region and promoting joint initiatives to create regional and international transport corridors.
Call for joining connectivity initiatives
In a bid to further enhance trade between both sides, India and Central Asian member nations of INSTC and Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor called for other “Central Asian countries to consider joining these connectivity initiatives,” the declaration also said.
While noting the results of the high-level international conference held in July 2021 in the city of Tashkent, the leaders underlined “the initiative of Uzbekistan to adopt a special resolution of the UN General Assembly on strengthening the connectivity between Central and South Asia.”